The water-filled central cavity of human adult hemoglobin (Hb A) is the binding or interaction site for many different allosteric effectors. Oxygen binding titrations reveal that pyrenetetrasulfonate (PyTS), a fluorescent analogue of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate, behaves like an allosteric effector. The ligation state, pH, and concentrations of other effectors (IHP, L35, and chloride) alter PyTS fluorescence for both solution-phase and sol-gel-encapsulated Hb samples. These conditions also alter the resonance Raman spectra and rates of geminate recombination of CO-ligated Hb. Together, these results demonstrate that there are conformational and functional consequences resulting from interactions between specific domains of the central cavity and individual effectors as well as from long-range synergistic effects that are mediated through the central cavity.
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